Friday, 30 March 2018

My First Ever Visit to the Watercress Wildlife Association Local Nature Reserve

20th March 2018

It is unbelievable that this is my first ever visit to this popular Local Nature Reserve buried in the depths of St Albans. It is an absolute oasis in this otherwise urban sprawl and I suspect that the vast majority of St Albans residents don't even know of its existence as it is tucked away at the end of a maze of streets with no signage.

It is  only a small site of less than 2ha, but includes a variety of habitats including the River Ver, a shallow mere, a boggy area, an orchard and woodland. There is one hide but also two sets of feeders that allow viewing of the visting birds at close quarters. The first visitor was a Long-tailed Tit, which seemed to have developed the technique of hanging on with one foot while holding its food in the other foot!

Also coming to the feeders were Chaffinches and Bullfinches, although the male Bullfinch was less showy than its female counterpart.

But more of a speciality were the Lesser Redpolls with the males colouring up nicely for the forthcoming breeding season.

Siskins were also present in lower numbers and this cracking male stole the show.

But then time to stand and wait in total silence for the star guest to appear. A cheeky little Wren peered out from the reeds wondering what all the fuss was about...........

......................and then for its grand entrance strode in the star of the show, one of the Water Rails present on site.

Well, what an amazing afternoon at an amazing well-managed site and I am sure there will be lots more visits in the future.

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